Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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Meet John Berkhoel, WECA's new Assistant Director of Apprenticeship Training and Facilities Manager

Thursday, December 21, 2023


WECA’s new Assistant Director of Apprenticeship Training and Facilities Manager, John Berkhoel, lives by the motto “Find what you love to do and be the best at it.”

Case in point: after graduating from Universal Technical Institute (UTI)’s Automotive/Diesel program, receiving a bachelor’s degree from American Trinity University, and becoming an ASE Master Certified automotive technician, John worked as an automotive technician for Honda and Acura for 15 years and taught automotive classes at UTI for 18 years. While at UTI, John also served as an Education Manager, Facilities Director, and Admissions Representative, won an instructor of the year award twice, and worked with the State of California to bring the state’s Smog Certification Training Program to UTI’s Rancho Cucamonga campus. John further diversified his resume by working for Holt/Caterpillar of California as a Main Shop Supervisor in their Earthmoving division and as a Field Admissions Representative for WyoTech in Oregon before teaching automotive classes at Buena Park High School just prior to joining WECA.

John’s extensive experience in the trades will help him ensure that WECA’s Apprenticeship programs deliver the greatest student experiences and outcomes. 

“I want to ensure that WECA remains the gold standard of apprenticeship training, and I want our facilities to support and represent our training programs at the highest level,” says John.

John’s complementary educational and professional background have also helped him feel right at home at WECA.

“I love the culture and the team I get to work with here at WECA,” says John. “I love the industry we train for and that we train students in a skill that sets them up for a successful career. I’m sure it’s a game-changer for many of them.”

With over 30 years of working and teaching in the trades under his toolbelt, John has amassed plenty of wisdom. His advice for apprentices includes “Set goals, work hard, do good work, never give up, and do things with integrity. As you find your own success, don’t forget to help those who are coming up behind you. Oh, and always turn in your timecards on time!”

Outside of work, John’s interests are as varied as his educational and professional background.

“I enjoy getting out and riding my Harley-Davidson locally, mostly on the weekends and during the summer,” says John of his free time. “My friend and I like to do long road trips. We’ve covered 12 states in the last three summers. I also enjoy mountain biking when I can, and I also enjoy doing nothing.”

WECA is excited to have John on board to help with all of our Apprenticeship training and facilities initiatives. With six facilities across three states—and you never know where we might grow next—it’s no small job, but we know John is up to the task.